18 people federally indicted after game room raids

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 5:24 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2022 at 6:18 PM CST
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LEVELLAND, Texas (KCBD) - Recently released federal indictments show authorities had cause to execute arrests for 18 individuals involved in the Hockley County game rooms, raided by authorities on November 17, since October of last year.

Hockley County Sheriff Ray Scifres said this year-long operation with federal investigators centered around illegal gambling spots in and around Levelland.

Court records show the investigation yielded criminal acts over the next six months, including transporting and selling more than 50 grams of methamphetamine during that time.

A federal grand jury approved indictments for the defendants on November 9, a week before the raids. One of the defendants appeared before a federal judge today.

Santiago Vizcarra Junior, AKA “Quick”, pleaded not guilty to trafficking more than 50 grams of methamphetamine on two separate occasions. He could appear before a federal judge again as soon as January 9.

Another defendant, Gerry Varner, could go to trial over illegally possessing nearly a dozen guns last summer. Federal agents say Varner, a convicted felon, had eight registered weapons including pistols, shotguns, and rifles.

Prosecutors claim two other weapons seized during the raid were unregistered and illegal, namely two sawed-off shotguns.